In Memoriam: Raymond Louis Rom (May 27, 1931 – Oct. 8, 2021)

November 2021 Posted in Obituary

Raymond Louis Rom was born on May 27, 1931 in Musselshell, Montana to Frank and Lucille Rom.  He died surrounded by family on Oct. 8, 2021. 

Ray grew up in Roundup, Montana. Growing up he developed a passion for big band and jazz music, starting his own band, The Red Hots, while in high school. He fought in the Korean War following high school and then attended the University of Montana, majoring in music where he met his wife, Donna. 

They were married on June 7, 1956, and moved to Iowa City while he received his Masters in Music at Iowa University. After several music teaching positions, he eventually ended up in Silverton, Oregon as the high school band director in 1962. Ray and Donna three daughters together.

Ray taught band and orchestra in the Silverton school district for 26 years and had a huge impact on many young students. He loved playing jazz. Many weekends you could find him playing, especially in Portland and Salem, including his own Ray Rom’s Little Big Band and the Art Abrams Swing Band. He also played in bands for several famous singers when they came to town, including Pat Boone, Bob Hope and Aretha Franklin. 

After his retirement from teaching in 1988, he met his second wife, Nancy. They were married Sept. 4, 1992 and lived in Keizer, Oregon for the remainder of his years. He continued to play jazz in nightclubs, bars, and concerts until he was 85. 

He will always be remembered for his love of jazz music and his sense of humor. 

He is survived by his wife Nancy, daughters Debbie Carter, Brenda (Rick) Geiger, and Renee (Mark) Hunter; stepdaughter Pat Norman, stepsons Jerry (Julie) Norman and Edward Norman; 18 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; and sister Nan (Bob) Koehnke and her family. No service is currently planned but you can leave memories and condolences at

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